(Image: Getty/Grafissimo)

Yesterday, the topic of the Morrison’s attempt at a population quick fix — by cutting migration rates by 30,000 — proved a divisive one. While many readers agreed with Bernard Keane that it’s not the course-correction we need, many also argued that it wasn’t in the wrong ballpark, while others discussed the issues of asset mismanagement that have led us to this point. Elsewhere, readers found more unity in the topic of ABC independence. 

On the Coalition’s population “quick fix”

john kotsopoulos writes: The failure to properly fund tertiary education has forced tertiary institutions to look for “business opportunities”. This has brought in plane loads of overseas students leading to the infrastructure bottlenecks that Morrison is trying to address in his customary slipshod fashion. What we have at the moment is a zero sum game being played out before an increasingly frustrated and annoyed electorate. Start funding tertiary education properly and take the pressure off colleges and universities to find revenue from overseas students.

Asking for a Friend writes: “Asset recycling” — call it what it is, privatisation — was hardly a successful program. It took publicly owned infrastructure, sold it to big corporates who now “tax” users with tolls and fees or (worse) government subsidies calculated using bizarre formulae and opaque contracts. Then “asset recycling” took the proceeds and used it to fund things like motorways and other infrastructure operated by the private sector under similarly opaque contracts and minimal opportunities for community consultation.

Kimba writes: Whilst I agree that a 30,000 reduction in permanent visas isn’t the answer, we do need to population planning. Our net overseas intake is the obvious lever. Figuring out the mix in terms of reductions is difficult but it has to be done.

Robert Garnett writes: We need to cut immigration to well below 100,000 net per year and instead of bringing in rich foreigners, start bringing in refugees. With the world on the cusp of catastrophic climate change for island people, Bangladesh and Africa we need plenty of practice in looking after genuine refugees, because there will be not 30,000 of them, not 300,000, of them not even 3 million.

On the call for ABC independence

Lucile Rogers writes: As a public broadcaster, the ABC is not fulfilling its charter if it is not upsetting the government of the day! The ABC is not a state broadcaster. Unless the ABC is led by people who know this and fiercely protect its programmers from government interference then the ABC is doomed. Michelle Guthrie and Justin Milne knew nothing about public broadcasting. Perhaps the way to protect the ABC is for the Board to be comprised of a majority of people with public broadcasting experience, elected by an independent selection committee.

Draco Houston writes: Maybe something good can still come of Milne and Guthrie. Mistakes into miracles.

Rosmary Jacob writes: If the ABC is expected to provide balanced commentary, then of course funding must be guaranteed to prevent political interference. Those who would admit to being well left of centre complain that the ABC does not criticise government policies effectively. Those who are staunchly right of centre claim the ABC is a bunch of lefties. Ergo — the ABC is balanced! But the current government hold the purse strings so funding must be guaranteed to ensure the ABC remains balanced.

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